Heineken "Open Your World" Ad Analysis

Topics: Advertising, Television advertisement, Infomercial Pages: 6 (1689 words) Published: October 6, 2012
Heineken - Open Your World
Nadine Garrison (10015730)
MKTG 435 Advertising Critique


The year is 1864. When 22 year old Gerard Adriaan Heineken acquired a small, local brewery in the heart of Amsterdam, it is doubtful that he would have imagined his modest company growing and expanding well into the 21st century. Despite its extensive history, Heineken claims to continue to use the original recipe formulated almost 150 years ago. Presently, Heineken International boasts a portfolio of 170 beer brands, 119 breweries in 65 different countries, and is ranked the third largest brewery in the world (JAZD, 2008). The brewery Gerard Heineken acquired so many years ago is now preserved in an interactive museum experience.

Since the first television advertisements in 1968, the company has launched numerous controversial but successful ad campaigns. In fact, the founder's grandson "Freddy" Heineken received the "Advertiser of the Century" award in the Netherlands in 1999. In 2008, the first global responsible drinking campaign began (Heineken, 2010). The company commenced its participation in charitable causes as well as continuing the humorous campaigns Heineken has become known for. Here, the latest campaign entitled "Open Your World" will be examined and critiqued.


This enticing tagline and campaign was first launched during the final months of 2010, moving away from the previous "Meet You There". The tagline was alluring enough to stand on its own in print media. Billboards, posters, and electronic posters were featured in high impact locations such as the New Delhi airport, following its recent launch in India by United Breweries Ltd (network2media Bureau, 2011). However, Wieden & Kennedy, the agency responsible for the new creative to align with the shift in Heineken's positioning, had more grandiose plans. Instead of relying on television spots to allow the animated campaign to gain popularity, a series of comedic spots were primarily launched on various websites, including Heineken's YouTube channel and Facebook page. The first spot, entitled "The Entrance", featured an stylish young man with a "laissez-faire" attitude strolling into a party. He interacts with many of the interesting guests at the party before accepting a ice-cold bottle of Heineken.

The concept proved it had legs after eleven other spots were created featuring each of the guests he interacts with in the original video. Since first launching "The Entrance" in Europe at the beginning of this year, it has had over 3.6 million hits. The subsequent videos have had over a million each (New York Times, 2011). As of September of this year, there are now television commercials featuring a different cast of characters and new storyline. The initial television spot was entitled "The Date".


“We’re taking consumers on a journey with us,” were the words of Heineken International's CCO Alexis Nasard (Brand Approved, 2011). The campaign journey began with a test of the new tagline "Open Your World" using various print media in the company's global markets. This included almost entirely outdoor advertising. According to a survey conducted by world renowned agency BBDO, 35% of all outdoor billboard viewers actually called the number advertised on a particular billboard (Radford, 2011). This is evidence to indicate the surprising call-to-action power this type of print media can have.

As indicated earlier, placements chosen for these billboards and electronic/LED billboards included high traffic locations such as international airports, alongside highways, and at exclusive sporting events. The strengths of this form of advertising include high reach, frequency, and coverage, cost efficiency, and room to be creative to invoke a peripheral response. Weaknesses include audience selectivity, low amount of processing time, little room for creativity to invoke a cognitive response, and...

References: Elliot, Stuart (2011), “Heineken Aims Its Ads at Young Digital Devotees,” The New York Times, (May 25), B6.
Heinekeninternational.com (2011), “The history of Heineken” (accessed November 15, 2011), [available at http://www.heinekeninternational.com/content/live//files/downloads/History_of _Heineken.pdf].
Heinekenopen.co.nz (2011), “Two top 10 players to feature in 2012 Heineken Open” (accessed November 17, 2011), [available at http://www.heinekenopen.co.nz/].
Opener.pl/en (2011), “Heineken Open 'er Festival” (accessed November 17, 2011),
[available at http://opener.pl/en].
Radford, Scott (2011), “MKTG 435 Marketing Communications,” working
paper, The Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Canada
Rudenko, Anna (2011), “Heineken Light Gets 'Occasionally Perfect ' in the New Campaign,” POPSOP, (July 4), (accessed November 17, 2011), [available at http://popsop.com/47296].
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